|Smith’s late free throws lift Wildcats in OT|
|Friday, January 10, 2014 9:25 PM|
By JIM METCALFE
ADA — Jefferson sophomore Trey Smith calmly sank a pair of free throws with 5.2 seconds left in overtime and Ada’s last gasp fell short of the rim as the visiting Wildcats grabbed a 51-49 Northwest Conference squeaker Friday night at The Kennel inside Ada High School.
“It was survival mode tonight. We talked before the game about not playing for two weeks — not even practicing for 10 days because we gave them a week off anyway and then we got the bad weather; we don’t have a crystal ball,” Jefferson coach Marc Smith explained. “We talked about being mentally tough and doing what we had to do to get a win. I don’t care how pretty it is; a win is a win.”
Ada coach Chris Sautter also felt his team did well enough to win.
“The effort was great, especially on the defensive end. We held Smith and (Ross) Thompson below their averages, which was a plus,” he explained. “Our execution was good on offense; we got good shots at good spots on the floor. We just didn’t finish. That is the bottom line; we were there but couldn’t close the deal.”
Tied at 47-47 to begin the extra four minutes, Smith (18 markers) struck first for the Wildcats (7-4, 1-2 NWC) with two throws at 3:06 after the hosts (1-6, 0-3) missed on the first shot. The Bulldogs tied it on a basket by Ada’s Grant McBride at 2:48. Jefferson had the final of their 12 turnovers for the game and the hosts missed a 3-ball before the senior Thompson grabbed the last of his game-high seven rebounds to give the ball back to the Red and White. They ran off over 90 seconds before getting the ball inside to the 6-5 Smith and he was fouled taking the ball to the basket against Ada defender Austin Dumbaugh, the senior’s fifth, to the consternation of the Ada fans. With those 5.2 ticks on the board, he dropped both for a 51-49 edge. The Bulldogs worked the ball to Blake Willeke (14 markers, 4 assists), whose desperation 25-footer from the right wing came up short of the iron as time expired.
Both teams only played six players, with each: Jefferson sophomore Dalton Hicks and Ada senior Hunter Waller; missing a rotation player due to injury.
After trading the lead in the early going of the opener, the Wildcats — who had not played since Dec. 28th — took a 6-5 lead on a Smith transition layin at 4:35. That fueled a 12-0 spurt — freshman Jace Stockwell (9 points, 4 dimes) canned a pair of bombs and Thompson (16 counters, 8 in the period) alternated with two baskets in the process — to grab a 16-5 edge with 40 ticks left before a layin by Dumbaugh (12 markers, 5 boards) with 2.1 ticks on the board got the hosts within 16-7.
Slowly but surely, the ’Dogs rallied in the second period. They whittled the deficit down to 22-20 on Willeke’s 3-ball from the left-side pocket at 1:42. However, the visitors got a pair of singles each from Thompson (1:22) and junior Nick Fitch (41.5 seconds) to nail a 26-20 halftime margin.
The Bulldogs came out with a renewed sense of energy in the third period and took advantage of some nice shooting — 7-of-12 from the field, led by six each from Dumbaugh and Grant McBride. The Wildcats also shot well — 5-of-9 — as they did all night long (18-of-34 overall, 5-of-13 3-pointers, for 52.9%) with Smith dropping in six. Ada took their first lead since early in the contest on a McBride free-throw jumper at 1:57; after Smith laid in a lob from Stockwell at 1:25, a 3-ball from the left corner by Willeke at 1:05 gave Ada a 38-36 edge.
The fourth period was no different that the previous three: a hard-nosed, defensive-minded affair. Ada held its biggest lead at 41-36 on a Levi Bass 3-ball 30 seconds in, only to see Smith answer with his only triple of the night 26 ticks late. It was back and forth from there — Jefferson answering Ada — until a Stockwell rainbow from the left corner at 2:25 tied it at 47. Ada misfired on a pair of fielders at 1:45 and the Wildcats got the carom and ran the clock down to 9.5 ticks, where a turnover gave it back to Ada. However, Jefferson had four fouls to give and Ada couldn’t get a shot off as regulation ended.
“I was worried about our layoff but I felt our execution was pretty good overall. We handed the ball pretty well, though we had a few turnovers,” Coach Smith added. “I felt in the last two minutes of the game and in overtime, we finally got some stops in the half-court, which has been a weakness of ours this year. We finally got something done we’ve been striving for all season.”
Delphos ended up 10-of-12 at the charity line (83.3%); assuming 21 rebounds (4 offensive) as Stockwell added four; and 11 fouls.
Ada compiled 19-of-43 shooting (5-of-17 downtown) for 44.2 percent and 6-of-6 singles (100%); with 18 rebounds (6 offensive) as Bass and McBride had five each; 17 fouls; and nine errors.
In junior varsity action, Ada knocked off the Wildcats (8-3, 0-3) 41-31.
Owen Conley paced the hosts with 12, while freshman Drew Reiss poured in 18 (3 bombs) for the Wildcats.
Both return to action tonight: Jefferson at Wayne Trace and Ada at Waynesfield-Goshen.
Jace Stockwell 3-0-9, Austin Jettinghoff 1-1-4, Ross Thompson 7-2-16, Trey Smith 6-5-18, Tyler Mox 0-0-0, Nick Fitch 1-2-4. Totals 13-5-10/12-51.
Brayden Sautter 2-0-5, Blake Willeke 5-2-14, Levi Bass 3-0-7, Blake Ansley 0-0-0, Grant McBride 4-2-11, Austin Dumbaugh 5-2-12, Spencer Archer 0-0-0. Totals 14-5-6/6-49.
Score by Quarters:
Jefferson 16 10 10 11 (4) - 51
Ada 7 13 18 9 (2) - 49
Three-point goals: Jefferson, Stockwell 3, Smith, Jettinghoff; Ada, Willeke 2, Sautter, Bass, McBride.
Drew Reiss 4-7-18, Josh Teman 0-1-1, Cole Arroyo 0-1-1, Alex Neubert 0-0-0, Ryan Wittler 0-0-0, Ryan Goergens 1-1-3, Brandon Herron 0-0-0, Christian Stemen 0-0-0, Grant Wallace 1-2-4, Nick Long 1-0-2, Drake Schmitt 0-0-0. Totals 5-3-12/20-31.
Tommy Chen 0-0-0, Jackson Secor 2-3-7, Jordan Bailey 2-2-6, Blake Ansley 0-2-2, Trrnton Jolliff 2-1-5, Weston Robinson 0-0-0, Seth Evans 3-1-9, Mason Klingler 0-0-0, Coleton Lee 0-0-0, Owen Conley 5-1-12. Totals 11-3-10/14-41.
Score by Quarters:
Jefferson 12 1 11 7 - 31
Ada 6 12 6 17 - 41
Three-point goals: Jefferson, Reiss 3; Ada, Evans 2, Conley.